To assist students in successfully achieving the Einstein Educational Competencies, the pre-clerkship years deliver a curriculum consisting of formal and informal programs that nurture students’ human values. Einstein believes that medical education should try to simulate the real world of medicine by fostering an atmosphere of collegiality and cooperation. We try to remove competition by grading all courses on a pass/fail basis.
The pre-clerkship education at Einstein provides students with the opportunity to acquire appropriate knowledge bases in biological and behavioral sciences, population sciences, and the mechanisms of disease. The program allows students to achieve competence in clinical examination and effective communication skills. Students learn how to apply knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat, and prevent human disease; to understand the importance of non-biological factors that influence health in diverse populations; and to advocate for patients.
As inter-disciplinary and inter-professional medicine gains a foothold in the world today, Einstein is implementing a longitudinal theme program that incorporates into its courses current events and changes in the medical delivery system.
The pre-clerkship curriculum structure consists mainly of interdisciplinary courses that reflect major unifying themes and concepts of modern biology, linkages between different biomedical science disciplines, and applications of basic knowledge to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of human disease. For example, a first-year course in Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine integrates concepts in cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, genetics and general physiology. A second-year course in Nervous System and Human Behavior brings together topics in neuroscience, neuropathology, psychopathology and pharmacology of the central nervous system. Organ system courses integrate relevant organ system physiology, anatomic pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, radiology, and epidemiology. The Microbiology and Infectious Diseases course provides an integrated view of microbial biology and disease together with an understanding of pharmacologic interventions; anatomic pathology correlates of certain infectious diseases have also been incorporated into the course. Epidemiology, Population Health and Evidence-based Medicine (EPHEM) introduces students to concepts and problems in population health, epidemiology, clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine. The goal of the course is for students to develop the skills needed to critically interpret the medical literature. While the focus of EPHEM I is on populations and EPHEM II on individual patients, both courses aim to integrate population and patient perspectives.
The pre-clerkship curriculum process focuses on case-based conferences, with group sizes ranging from 10 to 25, in almost all courses. Although conducted in different ways ranging from the problem-based to team-based learning to case method approach, all case conferences require students to prepare, collaborate, and participate. The aim is for students to work cooperatively toward the solution of clinical problems of varying complexity, with assistance from faculty facilitators when necessary, and in so doing acquire and hone skills needed for lifelong self-directed learning.
About half of the pre-clerkship curriculum consists of case conferences plus laboratory sessions, clinical encounters and other interactive educational strategies. The mix of lecture- and student-centered strategies is, we believe, a reasonably balanced one, providing each student the opportunity to express his / her own learning style and achieve course objectives through the utilization of different learning approaches.
Although all biomedical science courses expose students to clinical issues and problems in varying degrees, it is in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) program where students begin to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for effective interaction with the patient and the health care system. Hallmarks of the two-year course are the clinical experiences and small-group discussions that enable students to develop an integrated approach to history-taking, interviewing skills, and the clinical examination. In addition to teaching knowledge and skills, the ICM program aims to nurture attitudes needed for respectful and compassionate interaction with patients and their families, help students to understand and appreciate the sociocultural context of illness and disease, and teach students the principles and concepts needed to deal effectively with issues and dilemmas in medical ethics.
Highlights of the pre-clerkship curriculum include:
- The first year Principles of Preventive Medicine Course and second year Evidence-based Medicine courses have merged to become "Epidemiology, Population Health, and Evidence-based Medicine I & II" (see above).
- In order to reflect a greater emphasis on topics and issues in global medicine, the second year course in Parasitology has been renamed "Parasitology & Global Medicine".
- A mini-course in Disaster Medicine and Bioterrorism has been integrated into two second year courses - Pulmonary Medicine and Microbiology & Infectious Disease.
- The curriculum in Biomedical Ethics has been expanded.
- A new Population Health and Practice of Medicine theme curriculum has integrated concepts of public health, community medicine, health economics, health care systems, quality improvement and safety sciences into many existing courses.
The first year of the curriculum includes elective mini-courses in Nutrition, Health Disparities, Medical Spanish, and Medical Mandarin. Spanish language training in the first year is provided at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Medical Mandarin, a recently added first-year elective provides an opportunity for students who have a basic knowledge of the language to learn medical terminology that will assist them with the Mandarin-speaking patients at our clinical sites.
Upon entering Einstein, all students are required to take two online training courses (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and the New York State Infection Control Mandated Training) before being allowed to go out to clinical sites.
|Clinical and Developmental Anatomy
|Molecular and Cellular Foundations of Medicine
| Principles of
|Biomedical Ethics I
||Epidemiology, Population Health and Evidence-based Medicine I
|Introduction to Clinical Medicine I
In the second year, all students are required to take instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with certification by the American Heart Association. The Medical Spanish elective course continues with offerings at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.
In addition, interdisciplinary courses integrating Physiology, Pathobiology, Pharmacology, Epidemiolgy, Population Health, Evidence-based Medicine, Biomedical Ethics and Radiology are required.
|Nervous System and Human Behavior
|Parasitology and Global Medicine
and Human Sexuality
||Musculo- Skeletal Disorders
|Biomedical Ethics II
||Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
|Introduction to Clinical Medicine II
|Epidemiology, Population Health and Evidence-based Medicine II